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Arabic: العربية

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background and Aims
The relationships between women and men and girls and boys, have traditionally been unequal and characterized by a differentiation of roles, affecting and influencing all areas and spheres of life.

Gender relations are often dictated by unequal power dynamics that assign particular roles, determine access to decision making and access to/control over resources.

Water is the essence of life. Safe drinking water and sanitation are indispensable to sustain life and health and fundamental to the dignity of all1. Access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) knowledge and practices is directly influenced by gender relations and roles. As is the case in most societies in the world, WASH facilities and access to water is associated with responsibilities undertaken by women in Palestine, since they are the ones responsible inside the household of meeting the basic needs of its members.

In addition, availability of WASH facilities in education and health facilities has significant gender differentiated impact.
for agricultural use also has significant implications for women working in agriculture. Gender considerations in securing WASH needs during humanitarian emergencies and in long term interventions ensure protection of women and girls from Gender Based Violence (GBV).

To improve the conditions of women in different societies, several guidelines have been developed worldwide aiming to provide direction and recommendations for gender mainstreaming in water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) projects. Societal and political constraints in the Palestinian context make gender mainstreaming in WASH projects a challenging task.

The present toolkit provides technical instruments to tackle some of the most significant issues affecting women in the WASH sector in Palestine.

According to the Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO) 2017:

“High unemployment, low household incomes, the high cost of living (particularly for food) and the erosion of livelihoods have resulted in continued high levels of food insecurity in Palestine.

Access to essential services including WASH, healthcare, education, energy and housing is severely restricted for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.”

In early 2015, UN Women organized a series of workshops in Ramallah and in Gaza City to unpack cluster-specific issues related to priority gender needs and responses and identify ways to address challenges for gender sensitive humanitarian responses.

The WASH cluster participants identified a number of priorities and action points. The majority highlighted the need for capacity building and the development of an instrument for WASH partners to enable them to better identify and address gender specific needs.

In light of these recommendations, GVC, with its expertise in Gender and WASH, and the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) – Jerusalem Office – as Lead EU Donor on Gender, have come together in order to create this Toolkit. The Toolkit has also been developed in coordination and with the support of UN Women and the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA). Within the PWA Gender Strategy in the Environment (focusing on Water and Solid Waste Management) 2013-2017, three main axes were defined and nine Strategic Objectives (SO) were set